Hook is a 1991Steven Spielberg film featuring an All-Star Cast, and is an unofficial sequel to Peter Pan.In the present day, Peter Banning (Robin Williams) is a workaholic mergers and acquisitions lawyer whose job keeps him from his wife Moira and his two kids, preteen Jack and little Maggie. The family travels to London, England to attend the dedication of a new wing of the Great Ormond Street Hospital, to be named after "Granny" Wendy Darling (Maggie Smith) - Moira's grandmother and the woman who raised the orphan Peter before placing him with American parents. While most of the adults are at the dedication ceremony, the children are kidnapped, and the ransom note left behind is a scroll pinned to the door with a dagger, requesting Peter's presence and signed by one James Hook.Wendy reveals to Peter that she and her brothers were not only the ones who gave James M. Barrie the inspiration to write Peter Pan, but that the story was an account of true experiences. Peter is the now-grown-up Pan, and Captain Hook still wants revenge upon him, so he kidnapped the kids. Having no memory of life before he was twelve years old, he does not believe this - but later that night, he is approached by Tinker Bell (Julia Roberts) herself, and she hauls him off to Neverland (as he has no happy thoughts to make the fairy dust work).Hook himself (Dustin Hoffman) is horrified to discover what's become of his nemesis - Peter hasn't just forgotten how to fly, but has a fear of heights - and Tinker Bell makes a deal with him to straighten Peter out in three days so that the war the villain always wanted can take place. Peter is taken back to the hideout of the Lost Boys, now led by the cunning Rufio (Dante Basco), to relearn his old ways. As his skills slowly return to him, he comes to remember both why he left Neverland and what he lost and gained in doing so. But in the meantime, Hook discovers and plays upon Jack's resentment towards his dad to prepare the ultimate revenge...The film was highly anticipated, but with a difficult shoot and a big budget to earn back. It had a mixed critical reception when it opened a few weeks before Christmas 1991—competing against Disney's Beauty and the Beast likely didn't help. While it did well at the box office, it is now regarded as one of Spielberg's weakest films; some critics did not let the fact that the film appears to be Steven Spielberg working out his real life issues onscreen go unnoticed. It does have its own charm nevertheless, due in part to its, well, different take on the Peter Pan mythos. Among the current generation of 20-somethings, who grew up with it, it has all the makings of a Cult Classic.Compare and contrast with Return to Oz and Alice in Wonderland (2010).
And You Were There: As a likely Shout-Out to the original play's invocation of this trope, the trash sweeper at the end is also played by Bob Hoskins. Early on the captain's voice on the plane to England is Dustin Hoffman's, and it's the same voice he uses for Hook.
Given that Hook seems to "know" that they'd be in their beds at exactly that time, it's very likely that the trash sweeper is Smee and that the plane captain is Hook. The book, being a text medium, makes it slightly clearer that Hook has agents working in the real world.
"This is your Captain speaking."
Hook has a baseball in Neverland... and Maggie says that "the mean scary man at the window" stole it and said that he was "a window washer"; she's directly implying that it WAS Hook at the window.
This is also averted; Michael who, by the official Peter Pan in Scarlet sequel, is dead and John, who is assumed to be dead by this time, are both referenced by the stuffed teddy bear and top hat in Wendy's Drawing Room. Neither, however, actually appear.
Antagonist Title: Rather than Peter Pan lending his name to the story, this time it's Captain Hook.
Peter: Moira, get (the kids) out of here, will you? I'm on the phone call of my life!
Bloodless Carnage: For all the swordplay, there isn't much blood, not even when Rufio is killed. However, there's visible blood during the Pan-Hook duel.
Boring, but Practical: Peter at the beginning of the movie. Can't make your son's game? Send an intern with a camera. Becoming distant with your family? Try and talk it out with them. Your children have been kidnapped? Pay the ransom and go home.
Cheerful Child: Maggie. It's probably her optimism that allows her to see through Hook's claim that her parents don't love her, whereas it works on Mouthy Kid Jack.
Chekhov's Boomerang: Clocks. Hook's terrified of them. Every time he even thinks he hears one ticking, he flips his wig. And what did the dumb old man turn the hand-eating crocodile into? A GIANT CLOCK TOWER. Not that that's gonna be important...ever.
Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Not exactly played straight — during their initial meeting in Wendy's house, Peter says he doesn't believe in fairies and finds himself having to clap when Tinker Bell fakes her death throes. Also referenced when Hook warns her that if she doesn't hold up her end of the deal, "[No] amount of clapping will bring you back from where I'll send you."
Clock Tower: Hook not only killed the giant crocodile while Peter was away, but had it stuffed and turned into this, albeit one that doesn't actually tell time and certainly doesn't tick.
Cloudcuckoolander: Elderly Uncle Tootles in London appears to be this to most of the other characters, and he admits he's "lost [his] marbles." But as anyone familiar with Barrie's original work could guess, he's one of the original Lost Boys who went with Wendy and her brothers back to London to grow up. He's been scatterbrained ever since because he left a bag of real marbles, his happy thought, behind in Neverland.
Covered in Gunge: Some of the Lost Boys' weapons are designed to result in this. Peter also suffers this when he first tries to fly, and then there's the food fight.
Cut Song: According to lyricist Leslie Bricusse, this film was written as a musical, but due to length and budgetary concerns this was dropped, and only two songs are sung onscreen — "We Don't Wanna Grow Up" as part of the school play and "When You're Alone" by Maggie in Neverland (explained as a lullaby her mom taught them). The happy-whimsical theme that plays throughout and closes the film's action was originally the melody of a song titled "Childhood", which later appeared in a sheet music anthology of Bricusse songs.
Cutting the Electronic Leash: Moira throws Peter's cell phone out the window early on; Nana buries it. At the end, Peter retrieves it but subsequently throws it away himself.
Damsel in Distress: Maggie winds up serving as this; justified in that she's too young and small to help herself.
Defeat Equals Friendship: Peter becomes fast friends with the Lost Boys after they almost kill him and even stand behind him when he chews out Rufio. Rufio in return becomes his second in command when he finally flies and humiliates Rufio the same way Rufio did him in training.
Deus ex Machina: At the end of Peter and Hook's duel, the crocodile begins to act almost lifelike again as it falls atop Hook and "eats" him.
Disappeared Dad: Peter Banning is the emotionally absent type who never does anything with his children, won't pay them any attention, and treats them like nuisances rather than beloved.
Does Not Like Shoes: Tinker Bell is barefoot throughout. This is a real trait of Julia Roberts herself that was included.
Driven to Suicide: Having no nemesis since Peter's departure, Hook and Smee play at this as an attempt to make life more interesting - Hook threatens to kill himself and Smee has to stop him.
Hook: Don't try to stop me this time, Smee. Smee: Oh, not again... Hook: This is it. My finger's on the trigger. Don't try to stop me this time, Smee! Don't try to stop me this time, Smee! Don't you dare try to stop me this time, Smee try to stop me.
Easy Amnesia: Hooboy, Jack had this in spades. Justified in that as Maggie says so aptly, "Neverland makes you forget."
Peter gets it too - When he remembers that he's Peter Pan, Tink has to remind him that he has children.
Of course, the amnesia the other way is what gets the film going: Peter Banning doesn't believe that he ever was Peter Pan.
Neverland has always been implied to be something of a dreamworld, which is why it is hard to remember in the real world, and vice versa.
Evil-Detecting Dog: Nana is the first to notice that Hook is about to arrive at Wendy's house. Amusingly, her bark even sounds like, "Hook! Hook! Hook!" which tips Tootles off. This is especially ironic when we see Wendy stumble too. At the moment she stumbles, Hook has just blown open the window to her house. The magic of Neverland must be very strong if Nana 9, the descendant of the ORIGINAL Nana, Tootles, who hasn't been to Neverland in eighty years, and Wendy, who's 92, can feel it.
Evil Is Petty: Hook flunks Maggie out of his "class". She doesn't take it well.
Hook: Smee, flunk the maggot.
Smee: Abso-floggin'-lutely! *scrawls an F on Maggie's paper*
Maggie (incredulous): AN F?! AN F?! HE GAVE ME AN F!
Fainting: The thought of her great-grandchildren being captured is bad enough... but when Tootles reveals the letter and dagger and Peter reads the name "Jas Hook", Wendy realises just what in the name of Neverland has happened and gives more than an appropriate reaction. She faints.
Food Fight: Which turns out to mark a breakthrough for Peter, because Neverfood is imaginary and doesn't even exist to those who don't pretend it's there.
Foreshadowing: After Smee prevents Hook from killing himself (again), the gun accidentally hits a model of the Jolly Roger. The model catches fire and sinks into the model sea, a clear sign that the upcoming battle will not go well for the pirates.
Jack's picture on the plane. "How come I didn't have a parachute, Jackie?" "Take a wild guess." The intention was that Jack wanted his father to drown and die, but it takes on a whole new meaning when it turns out the latter is Peter Pan.
Generation Xerox: "Boy who dislikes home life ends up in Neverland, forgets his semi-neglectful family and decides to stay, only to come to his senses once he realizes that the outside world is more important" certainly describes both Peter and Jack pretty well. There's also a few dropped hints that Maggie would have been the perfect successor of her grandmother Wendy.
Genre Savvy: Wendy. She's smart enough to know to tell Peter the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth when she finally comes too after her fainting fit; she also looks directly at the beds and smiles nostalgically - before even realising Jack and Maggie are there - as if reminiscing what she and her brother's did in the (then not released or even thought of!) 2003 movie.
Groin Attack: Peter gets hit with one of the Lost Boys' fruit-tipped arrows, and cries "I've been shot!" in a falsetto voice. Thudbutt delivers this to one of the pirates in the climactic "war".
Growing Up Sucks: Inverted. While it's vital that Peter rediscover his inner child, he must also remember why he grew up in the first place. He chose to grow up when he realized there were things in life that only a grown-up could properly experience: falling in love, getting married, and having kids. The memory of becoming a father turns out to be the happy thought that restores his ability to fly.
Ham-to-Ham Combat: Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman, each gleefully biting off as much of the scenery as they can cram into their gullets.
Hook Hand: Naturally. Presenting the Captain with a new hook is a big deal in Pirate Town (Hook even has his own grindstone to sharpen it on). He also has items he can swap the hook out for as needed — including a baseball glove, and a wine goblet!
I Am the Noun: Near the end of the film, when Peter allows Hook to live but tells him he is to take his ship and leave Neverland forever.
Rufio is initially a pretty big one too, probably because Peter threatens his seat of power.
Karmic Death: Hook, remember the crocodile? For good measure, he is almost crushed by the giant clock as well.
Kill 'em All: Hook literally says it when he realizes Peter Banning isn't a worthy opponent. The only reason it doesn't happen is because Tinker Bell convinces him that he'd only be remembered as a bully if he just had the Bannings killed.
Large Ham: Most of the pirates, but especially Hook. Dustin Hoffman is clearly enjoying the chance to play one of the most infamous pirates in fiction in live-action.
"Oh, I hate being disappointed, Smee. And I hate living in this flawed body. And I hate living in Neverland. And I hate... I hate... I hatePeter Pan!"
Literary Agent Hypothesis: In this universe Wendy and her brothers recounted their adventures with Peter to J.M. Barrie, and the book and play we know was the result.
Living Shadow: Another sign of Peter regaining his abilities is his shadow separating from him again, leading him to the old Hangman's Tree hideout.
Lost in Imitation: More of a case of Truer To The Text compared to the Disney cartoon. The movie is significantly more effective if you're familiar with Barrie's original novel/play as opposed to, say, the Disney adaptation. That said, the Captain's hook is on his left hand instead of his right, as in the Disney version, and a few Plot Tumor elements (such as happy thoughts and the second star to the right) that appear in other adaptations persist here (see the trope entry for details).
A more direct example is the fact that Peter doesn't start trying to actively remember his past until after seeing Hook claim Jack as his son during the baseball game.
Not So Different / He Who Fights Monsters: Since growing up, Peter has become preoccupied with amassing wealth and prestige for himself, working as a lawyer to facilitate corperate hostile takeovers. As pointed out to him by Granny Wendy, he's become a pirate.
Oh Crap: Peter starts to panic when Hook was pointing at him. But he was actually pointing at another pirate next to him.
Papa Wolf: While Peter is a workaholic and a cynic. Not only does he care about his kids and wants to get them out of Neverland as quick as possible. What really sets him off is when Hook vows to threaten future generations of Pans/Bannings. Which eventually causes him to relent and fight Hook.
Parental Bonus: The three women (who build up to the third wearing makeup as thick as stage paint) who are happy to see Smee are, to an adult, quite obviously prostitutes (in ~20th century parlance, hookers), and likely happy to see one of their best customers. If Bob Hoskins' intended portrayal of Smee as Hook's life partner or Pet Homosexual is taken into account, this adds a deeper layer of Parental Bonus to the characters.
Plot Hole: How did Hook and Smee acquire Peter's medical records and knew so much about his kids before they kidnapped them?
A possible clue regarding the kids comes as Peter is bidding the kids good night before leaving for the banquet. Maggie explains that a mean man who said he was a window washer took Jack's baseball — now, it turns out Captain Hook has a baseball in Neverland. It's possible that it's the same ball, and the window washer was a pirate spy...All this was some pretty high-quality paranoia fuel for kids at the time, especially whose fathers were named Peter. "Careful, kids, at any moment you could be being stalked by pirates."
The biggest set plot holes come from the psychoanalysis segment of the movie, but there's some good theories to fill it in up in Fridge Logic.
Quizzical Tilt: Hook has several of these, notably when he hears Maggie singing and another when he sees the crocodile begin to break free of its bonds.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: "You know you're not really Peter Pan. This is just a dream! When you wake up, you'll be Peter Banning: a cold selfish man who drinks too much, is obsessed with success and runs and hides from his wife and children!"
Peter: Rufio, if I'm a maggot burger, why don't you just EAT ME!!! You Two Toned, Zebra headed, slime coated Paramecium brain. MUNCHING ON YOUR OWN MUCUS, SUFFERING FROM PETER PAN ENVY!!!
Don't-Ask: What's a Paramecium brain?
Peter: I'll tell you what a Paramecium is, THAT'S A PARAMECIUM. IT'S A ONE CELLED CRITTER WITH NO BRAIN, THAT CAN'T FLY!!! DON'T MESS WITH ME, MAN! I'M A LAWYER!!!
Punishment Box: Pirates who have failed are put into the "Boo Box", a chest which is also inhabited by several scorpions (harmless Emperor Scorpions).
Replacement Goldfish: Peter's parents were pretty cold, forgetting all about their lost baby when they have another kid. On the other hand, since Peter doesn't seem to notice decades pass by during his infrequent visits to Wendy, a lot of time could have passed between his parent's devastation at the loss of Peter and the birth of their other child.
Their story also takes place in the Victorian (or possibly Edwardian) era, when infant mortality was high and even wealthy families often lost children to illness. Having a second baby soon after losing the first one would have been common practice.
Scary Black Man: One pirate is this. He says "boo hoo!" as another pirate is dropping scorpions on Gutless.
School Play: The film opens at an elementary school production of Peter Pan in which Maggie is playing Wendy.
Hook: Peter! I swear to you, wherever you go, wherever you are, I vow there will always be daggers bearing notes signed "James Hook"! They will be flung at the doors of your children's children's children, do you hear me?
Peter (slowly sets Maggie down, turns around) What do you want, old man?
Hook: Just you.
The Fat Guy: This is what Jack was, according to rumours, meant to be. An obese pre-teen who loved baseball and had grown fat after his father had grown distant from him and he'd turned to food; the original beginning was meant to show Jack struggling to get into trousers and the ending was supposed to show him skinny (well, skinnier!) enough to get into them and that Neverland had brought Jack and Peter together and allowed Jack's life to improve.
Totally Radical: These Lost Boys ride skateboards, play basketball in a makeshift court with (Neverland-specific) graffiti on the walls, etc. They also usually refer to Peter Pan as "The Pan" — even "Pan the Man" at one point. This was a major complaint in negative reviews of the film.
Weaksauce Weakness: Hook's fear of ticking clocks, which dates back to his being chased by a giant crocodile that had swallowed one. Subverted when Peter points out that, with the croc long dead, that can't be what Hook is really afraid of; rather, Hook is now afraid of time slipping away from him. Sure enough, when Peter knocks the Captain's wig from his head, it's revealed that he's become an old man underneath it.
When You Coming Home, Dad?: Jack is so bitter about his dad missing baseball games, not letting him jump on his bed, etc. that Hook doesn't have much trouble convincing him to turn to the bad guys' side.
Hook: Death is the only adventure you have left.
Worthy Opponent: Peter in Hook's eyes. Obsessively so, to the extent that Hook even attempts suicide when faced with the possibility that they won't be able to do battle again.
Hook's obsession with battling Peter is shown in greater depth when Peter flies Jack away from the site of the final battle (while it's still in progress) following the latter's declaration that he wants to go home. Hook looks confused, lost, disappointed, and even slightly hurt as he asks Peter where he's going.